The Royal Box

A Riotous Homage to Wimbledon's Most Notable Spot

The final two weeks in June sees the crème de la crème of British society descend upon the hallowed grounds of the All England Club to gawp at the lucky anointed few gracing the 74 seats that make up the Royal Box at Wimbledon…and to watch a little tennis too. Under sunshine and, more often than not, a multitude of downpours, the best of the ATP and WTA tours such as Rafael Nadal, Maria Sharapova, Andy Murray, Serena Williams and Roger Federer battle it out on the courts. While play goes on, a feast of indulgence takes place, with around 282lb of strawberries consumed and 17,000 liters of champagne purchased throughout the fortnight. To honor the start of the world’s greatest tennis championship, NOWNESS commissioned Barcelona-based design and multimedia communication studio Tigrelab, who have already wowed the online world with The ABC of Architects, to create their own tribute to the glitz and glamor that will be unleashed in southwest London for the next fortnight.

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  • MOST SHARED IN SPORTS
    MOST SHARED IN SPORTS

    Dewey Nicks: Strong is Beautiful

    The Photographer Serves Up a Slice of the Biggest Names in Women’s Tennis

    Santa Barbara-based photographer and filmmaker Dewey Nicks today presents the culmination of his year-long project for the Women’s Tennis Association’s Strong is Beautiful campaign, a dazzling short featuring a split-screen rally between the likes of Serena Williams, Li Na and current world number one Caroline Wozniacki. In all, 40 of the biggest names in the women’s game were documented in Nicks’s dramatic smoke-hued film. “It takes so many elements to reach the top of such a competitive sport as tennis––strength of character, incredible discipline and will power," says Wozniacki. "For me, Strong is Beautiful was able to capture the inner strength of players in a beautiful way.” Shot with a 600-frames-per-second Phantom EFX camera, in temperatures over 100ºF, the stars were captured fresh from battle in between rounds at tournaments across the US. Seeking to champion each player’s unique strengths, Nicks highlighted their signature strokes in slow motion. “There are things your eye doesn’t perceive,” he explains. “Once you slow it down you realize how extraordinary the shift of weight or position of the racket is.” Proclaiming it to be the best project he has ever worked on, the enthusiastic Nicks held nothing back, even taking a ball to the neck in the effort to get the perfect shot.

    STATS FROM ON SET

    Location
    Indoor court, Cincinnati, Ohio; hospitality tent, Indian Wells, California; GMT Studios, Culver City, California.

    Athletes’ ages
    18–31.

    Combined grand slam titles
    30 (Serena Williams: 13; Venus Williams: 7; Maria Sharapova: 3; Kim Clijsters 4; Francesca Schiavone 1, Li Na: 1; Ana Ivanovic: 1).

    Number of balls used
    300.

    Invisible opponents
    Lobster ball machine, athletes’ own hitting partners, and a brazen (ex-UCLA tennis player) producer hand-feeding balls.

    Service speed
    130 mph.

    Tennis kit 
    Athletes' own rackets and shoes. Serena did the whole shoot while wearing a boot on her foot as a result of a post-Wimbledon 2010 injury.

    Water consumed 
    360 bottles

    Soundtrack 
    “Night Jogger” by Those Darlings; Johnny Thunders; Green Day (requested by Serena Williams).

    Dust particulates 
    One kilo each of various colored pigment; chalk dust and diamond dust.

    Sneezes 
    Six captured in slow motion.

    Time for the dust to settle 
    Three minutes.

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  • ON REPLAY
    ON REPLAY

    Rafael Nadal's 25th Birthday

    Celebrate the Left-Handed Heartthrob’s Quarter Century with Five of Tennis’s Greatest Male Stars

    Currently competing in the 2012 French Open at Paris’s Roland Garros, Spanish tennis champion Rafael Nadal turns 25 today. To mark the occasion, NOWNESS unearthed young images of the sport’s other gifted enfants terribles: Las Vegas bad boy Andre Agassi, Ice-cool Björn Borg, John “You cannot be serious!” McEnroe, precocious Boris Becker, and wild-at-heart Goran Ivanisevic have all triumphed at the majors in headline-making style. One of the world’s best current players, Nadal exploded onto the world stage in 2005 by winning the French Open, becoming only the second person to do so at the first attempt. Revered for his virtuosity on clay, in 2008 Nadal reached new heights when he triumphed on the Wimbledon lawns and reached number one in the world rankings, dethroning the formidable Roger Federer. Reaching a Career Grand Slam by winning the US Open in 2010, Nadal’s status has recently been challenged by current number one Novak Djokovic. At the Australian Open earlier this year, the Serb bested Nadal in a nail-biting five-set final that played out over an epic five hours and 53 minutes, the longest in Grand Slam history. Nadal’s progress at Roland Garros this week will determine whether he can crown his birthday with a record-breaking seventh French Open title (he is currently tied with Borg on six), and win the event for the third consecutive year.

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